It really does. Not the outcome, but the aftermath. What the Mouse sees is that before the case Ched was guilty, when he went to trial he was in popular media, with women’s groups and such, guilty. Now, he has been cleared; he is still considered guilty.
And the Mouse sees that other people cleared of wrongdoing, who on accusation were considered guilty, are also now still guilty.
This disturbs the Mouse, because, on accusation many people considered the Mouse guilty of what his ex-wife said, and when the Mouse was released no charge or caution after a 4 month investigation, they continued to consider the Mouse guilty, just like the Family Court, Social Services, CAFCASS who treated the Mouse as guilty and convicted. In fact, beyond doing prison time, the Mouse was in a practical sense, guilty.
Mouse’s ex-wife has made a career out of being the victim, people have rallied round, support and opportunities, even applause in the local newspaper, have all come from that status. The actual reality is that the Mouse was convicted and sentenced to life as an abuser by her and has no way of being anything else. The Mouse can try to tell the organisations or tell the story – but already the Mouse has learned that he will be told he is an abuser playing victim. Mouse never protests, Mouse learned quickly it did no good and made no difference, it was proof of the conclusion already drawn. Sat in a meeting with all the agencies and schools, a crisis meeting, and the police officer mentioned that they had suspicions that Mouse was really the victim, that much made the notes, thats all that happened and they moved swiftly on because the meeting wasnt about the Mouse, just what the Mouse had done according to his exwife.
There was only one thing good that happened, when the meeting moved on, the police woman looked at the Mouse, made sure she caught the Mouse’s eye, and clear as if it was written, “I know”. She knew the truth, like her colleague who first asked me the question just a few weeks before, and looked at the Mouse after the Mouse said no, with eyes that said “you are a terrible liar”. Mouse takes heart, that when someone who really knows looks into Mouse’s eyes, they will see the truth.
Luckily for Mouse more than those two have looked and seen. It is why the Mouse blogs about it now, finally having courage to face those years and what happened. At first Mouse would never say the word, abuse, abusive; but Mouse heard it back and would think, I should correct them and say it wasn’t. After that, Mouse grew to hate the word victim, because the Mouse had been and Mouse hated that, hated himself for being a victim, for not being stronger, not acting, not being a man and standing up for himself, for being a fraud teaching other they mattered and were important and to leave toxic people behind and life coach them, Mouse’s life was a lie and Mouse knew it. Mouse has no idea right now, Mouse wonders, should Mouse be angry, Mouse not andry. Is it ok to be sad, is ok to write poems about it. Everyday Mouse asks, was it my fault, what did I do to deserve it, Mouse even wonders what if he really was that person and has brainwashed himself.
Like Ched, people who hear the story will believe what they believe, only 2 really know. All the protestation, blogging, poetry, journalism and tweeting will not change the truth or make people change their minds. Mouse wonders does it even matter. People who believe her will hate me, people who believe the Mouse should not hate anyone; hate leads to the suffering and that is the path to the darkside after all. Hate only eats us away. Some people dont believe that the Mouse doesn’t hate, he did, it ate away at the Mouse, discolured Mouse’s life and took up too many thoughts and feelings to the point that happiness could not get in. The best Mouse can do is be indifferent, wish her no ill and let life and truth run their course. She had space and control for too long, to hate, to think too much about her is to give that space back.
Yet here Mouse is, blogging about the past. Mouse writes because over 10 years is a big space, and while the Mouse can box it off, some things are in there. Mouse needs to learn a lot and heal. Mouse is compelled that abused men need something to stumble on that will tell them they are not alone. Hopefully they won’t be like the Mouse, they wont be ready to end it all and be saved by a single text message reading “Are you ok, I am worried about you”.
Mouse does feel guilty, its a familiar feeling, Mouse learned to live with it with guilt for something that had never happened a long time ago.